April 29, 2022

Resource Spotlight: National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

May 7th is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services agency, created this awareness day to highlight the importance of children’s mental health to their overall development and well-being. Childhood mental health issues have increased since 2010 and pediatric health experts warn that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues, creating a youth mental health crisis as detailed in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Protecting Youth Mental Health advisory issued in 2021. Also this past year, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health advocating for governmental policy changes that support families with evidence-based interventions in healthcare, school, and community settings. Recognizing that changes are needed at every level, one of SAMHSA’s awareness day goals include supporting communities and organizations in efforts to educate the public on childhood mental health issues and offer resources for those in need.

Public Resources

Logo of the Seattle Public Library
Seattle Public Library’s Exploration Guides for youth offer a collection of free educational online resources such as videos, podcasts, and eBooks on a variety of topics including mental health. Children and teens may select subjects of interest from their particular grade level. Elementary school children will find mental health videos chosen especially for them in the We All Have Mental Health collection. Middle and high school students will also find age-appropriate mental health content within their respective exploration guides, middle school’s Emotional Wellness & high school’s Name It to Tame It – Understanding Mental Health.


Logo of youth.gov

The U.S. government’s website youth.GOV supports youth programs and includes information pages on a variety of topics pertaining to children and adolescents. Many of these subjects are mental health-focused and target specific groups such as children of incarcerated parents, noting issues commonly experienced by these unique groups and offering resources.


Logo of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
SAMHSA’s Native Connections webinars help American Indian and Native Alaskan communities in managing behavioral health issues that plague Indigenous youth such as substance abuse and suicide.


Cover of the Young Caregivers in the U.S. report
Young Caregivers in the U.S. Report of Findings September 2005. A report on children and teens who are caregivers to their siblings, parents, and other family members and the impact of this role on their emotional and mental health.


UW Resources

Logo of University of Washington MedicinePediatric Health Library – Child and Adolescent Mental Health


Read about UW’s Ecological Momentary Assessment Robot (EMAR) project, a social robot designed to interact with teens, assess their stress levels, and provide mental health support.

Cover of Handbook of Infant Mental HealthHandbook of Infant Mental Health (2019) Request through Summit. From the title summary: Grounded in a relational view of infancy, the volume offers a broad interdisciplinary analysis of the developmental, clinical and social aspects of mental health from birth to age three.


Cover of Latina and Latino Children's Mental HealthLatina and Latino Children's Mental Health (2011). This text examines the various factors that shape the social and behavioral development of Latinx youth and explores how their identity as ethnic minorities and sometimes immigrants may differ from the experience of African-American and European-American children.


Cover of Technology OveruseTechnology Overuse : A Step-by-Step Guide to Assessment and Treatment for Children, Adolescents, and Families (2020). In this instructional film, Dr. Melissa Westendorf discusses the relationship between technology overuse and psychological issues in children and teens and offers suggestions for treatment.


Cover of Children and the Dark Side of Human ExperienceChildren and the Dark Side of Human Experience: Confronting Global Realities and Rethinking Child Development (2008). Dr. James Garbarino details stories of children in war zones and refugee camps and how the trauma of these experiences negatively effect both their physical and emotional development.


Image credit:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/childrens-awareness-day